Simeone: Forget about the Champions League
The fierce rivals meet in the second leg of their European quarter-final on Wednesday with the score 0-0, but Simeone is more interested in securing a top-three place in La Liga.
Simeone expects a tough test on their trip to relegation-threatened Deportivo, and knows they must maintain their high standards if they are to finish the season on a high.
"The hardest thing is finishing third," he said. "We have to think about playing a good match tomorrow and be strong to play against a rival that has needs points, the same ones we want but for a different reason.
"We are only thinking about tomorrow's match. Tomorrow's is a classic game of a team that fights to stay up and will demand us to be at our best level.
"This fixture is key because it's the next one and because we need to keep competing with Valencia and Sevilla [for third] in an extraordinary way.
"It is a hard fight. Sevilla have great players, and Valencia do not have European football [to distract them].
"We cannot lower our guard because the competition will be tough between the three sides."